The Faith We Need

faith-living-300x294Too tall our structures, and too swift our pace;
Not so we mount, not so we gain the race.
Too loud the voice of commerce in the land;
Not so truth speaks, not so we understand.
Too vast our conquests, and too large our gains;
Not so comes peace, not so the soul attains.

But the need of the world is a faith that will live anywhere;
In the still dark depths of the woods, or out in the sun’s full glare.
A faith that can hear God’s voice, alike in the quiet glen,
Or in the roar of the street, and over the noises of men.

And the need of the world is a creed that is founded on joy;
A creed with the turrets of hope and trust, no winds can destroy;
A creed where the soul finds rest, whatever this life bestows,
And dwells undoubting and unafraid, because it knows, it knows.

And the need of the world is love that burns in the heart like flame;
A love for the Giver of Life, in sorrow or joy the same;
A love that blazes a trail to Go through the dark and the cold,
Or keeps the pathway that leads to Him clean, through glory and gold.

For the faith that can only thrive or grow in the solitude,
And droops and dies in the marts of men, where sights and sounds are rude;
That is not a faith at all, but a dream of a mystic’s heart;
Our faith should point as the compass points, whatever be the chart.

Our faith must find its centre of peace in a babel of noise;
In the changing ways of the world of men it must keep its poise;
And over the sorrowing sounds of earth it must hear God’s call;
And the faith that cannot do all this, that is not faith at all.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Photo: Google

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Meditation and Separation

Whatsoever parteth the hoof and cheweth the cud.  Leviticus 11:3 (R. V.)

The animals, in which these two characteristics met, were reckoned clean, and therefore fit for food. It is certain that the minute particularity of these words has some further reference than to the diet of Israel, important though that was, or to accentuate with every meal the necessity of their being a separate people. We, at least, may gather this lesson, that in our daily experience we must combine meditation and separation.

Meditation. – The cattle do not simply browse on the pastures, but they lie down to chew the cud. It is not enough to peruse our allotted Scripture portion; we must ruminate upon it, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and scripture with scripture. The Holy Ghost will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will bring all things to our remembrance.

Separation. – “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.” “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We have not meditated to good purpose unless we have felt its keen edge. Detachment from the world must follow on true attachment to Christ. Love to Naomi will draw Ruth from Moab across the Jordan.

The two must be combined. – The swine divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, and was therefore unclean. A man may profess to love his Bible, but the supreme test is his daily separation from evil. On the other hand, our daily life ought to emanate, not from without, which is Pharisaism, but from within, where we chew the cud of holy meditation.

F.B. Meyer

Reaching Out To Others

imagesE5C4NI61.jpgWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Colossians 3:23

Ministry is for every person. It’s not just a “calling” for pastors, missionaries, and evangelists.

Many years ago, God chose a woman named Miriam to be a prophetess and worship leader, helping her brothers Moses and Aaron in bringing the people of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt.  God allowed the people to miraculously walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and then caused the waters to wash away the pursuing Egyptian army. (Exodus 14-15)

After the crossing, Miriam led worship. Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.” (Exodus 15: 20-21) And all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.

Whether God uses us for His service in the church, Christian organization, mission field, or on our job, our ministry needs to be and should always be covered in prayer. As we reach up to God, He fills us so we can reach out and pour His love and blessing into others.

Effective ministry isn’t based on our abilities.  We can’t simply make it happen ourselves.  We partner with God through prayer, and He provides the power. As we ask in faith, and go about our Father’s business, Holy Spirit brings deliverance and acts according to God’s will for our lives.

When we pray for our individual ministries, we can ask God to give us the willingness and compassion to serve others.   If you aren’t sure what your ministry is in the body of Christ, ask God to help identify your spiritual gift(s) and to use them effectively.

For those who may have grown weary, whatever the reason, ask Holy Spirit for energy and refreshment, along with discernment to balance your life with ministry opportunities.

We can also ask God to help our ministries to grow, and provide the resources (financial or otherwise) to incorporate fresh ideas.  Yet, always mindful that praising God pleases Him, too.

Because God is the One after all who empowers us to serve faithfully and be effective, whatever the ministry.

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.”Proverbs 3:13